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Bailey White: Theologian

One of the first ideas that the advisory committee produced came out of the realization that some of the best theology written today appears in novels and short stories, cartoons and comic strips, poems and popular songs. One of our dreams is to assemble a group of artists, writers, poets, and composers who reflect on religious themes. One such person is Bailey White, who appears regularly on National Public Radio. I know her work best through reprints in “The Funny Times,” but my favorite of her stories I found in a volume called Mama Makes Up Her Mind and Other Dangers of Southern Living (Vintage Books).

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Topics: Theology & Religious Education. Resource Types: Articles.

A Grandmother’s Legacy: Wading in the Waters, Day by Day

Most of us have stories to tell about our everyday ministries as they
are played out beyond the walls of church buildings. Remembering our
baptism is an ongoing adventure that involves wading in the waters of
Christian living.

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Topics: Spiritual Exploration & Practice. Resource Types: Articles.

Sexual Diversity (Workshop) Jesus as “Gate” — What we Lose by Exclusivity

When asked “What has the Church done to help you in your sexual development?” it seems the best that most could answer, both gay and straight, is “nothing.”

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Resource Types: Articles.

In Defense of

In my upbringing, I learned that the first Christian statement of faith was probably “Jesus is Lord.” The context in which St. Paul used the affirmation sounds as if he were quoting something that his readers would immediately recognize: “No one can say ‘Jesus is Lord’ except by the Holy Spirit” (I Corinthians 12:3). To call Jesus “Lord” is to say that I have a relationship with Jesus. I am declaring my loyalty and acknowledging his authority in my life. That is very different from saying that “Jesus is God”, a statement that does not appear in the Bible.

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Topics: Worship & Liturgy. Resource Types: Articles.

Risking Art, Risking Faith

Reflections on the TCPC 1999 Forum and the intersection of religion and creativity.

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Topics: The Arts & Culture. Resource Types: Articles.

Many Voices, One God: Remodeling Christianity for a Pluralistic World

In the four years that I have been back in the US and teaching, I find one of the hopeful signs of Christianity is being able to be a relevant and meaningful religion. One of the hopeful signs is TCPC. I am not saying this to say how wonderful you people are. Those of us who are following the development of religious tradition see that the capacity of a religious tradition to reorient itself to the world in which we have come to live is one the important signs of the possibility of survival.

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Topics: Interfaith Issues & Dialogue. 8 Points: Point 2: Pluralism. Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.

With God on Our Side Reflections on the Religious Right

As has been mentioned, I have written a book: With God on Our Side, available at a book table near you. This serves as the companion volume to the PBS series of the same name. If they run out here, you can call up http://wmartin.com/withgod on the Internet and you should be able to find all the books you’ll ever want.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Spirituality and Contemporary Culture II

I’m going to talk this afternoon about the relationship between culture and spirituality. Anybody with a brain in their heads knows that to talk about culture, in this day and age, is one thing, but to talk about spirituality is even worse. To try to do both of them in one standing is not the smartest thing anybody can do. But I’m going to do it anyway, because I remember with Boethius that every age that is dying is simply another age coming to life, and with the Chinese poet, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.”

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Resource Types: Articles and Interfaith.

Spirituality and Contemporary Culture

Marcus J. Borg is Distinguished Professor of Religion, Oregon State University and author of many books, including Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time: The Historical Jesus and the Heart of Contemporary Faith; Reading the Bible Again for the First Time: Taking the Bible Seriously but Not Literally; and The God We Never Knew.

The following is a transcript of a speech delivered at the National Forum of the Center for Progressive Christianity, in Irvine, California, June 1-3, 2000.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Religion and Politics

Lawrence Falkowski is President of Christianity for the Third Millennium and Rector at the Holy Trinity Episcopal Church, West Orange, NJ. The following is a transcript of a presentation made at the 1996 National Forum of The Center for Progressive Christianity.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Reflections of an Elder

Let me start by talking about the reflections of an elder. In 1994, I went to a program called “New Warrior”. It is one of the men’s programs. It has an absolutely hideous name, but it is one of the best programs I have ever been to. I would consider it the equivalent value of about five years of good AA. If you want to know, “Is New Warrior something like the Promise Keepers?” No! It is not like the Promise Keepers; it is diametrically opposed to anything Promise Keepers is about. The New Warrior is for the older folks, persons fifty years and older. They have a special elders training for men. I went to the elders program about this time last year, so I am now an official “New Warrior Elder”. I am going to say some things about being an elder.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Re-Visioning Christianity: The Christian Life

My topic, as you know from the program, is, “Re-Visioning the Christian Life”, and my question is, very simply, “Within the re-visioning that I am suggesting, what does the Christian life look like?” For that older conventional way of seeing Christianity that I sketched in my talk yesterday, believing was central to the Christian life. Indeed during the period of modernity, being a Christian meant, to a large extent, believing in Christianity, and Christian faith meant, to a large extent, believing. How does the Christian life look within this framework of seeing Christianity again?

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Resource Types: Articles.

Prophecy in the Progressive Church

Prophecy in the progressive church does not mean being doctrinaire. It does mean speaking out as a child of God. It probably means that we have just forgotten to ask the questions. The prophets asked the questions. Biblical ones did. And we often forget that asking questions can be the real way to God. Let’s think along that line for awhile.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Personal Life Inspired by the Spirit: Redefining Virtue

I should say at the beginning that when I was asked to do this, I asked Jim Adams what the subject matter of my remarks should be, given the title of this session, and he couldn’t tell me. We all have our own ideas on this subject he said and he didn’t want to constrain me. So I can only say that these are my own ideas about “rethinking religion and redefining virtue in the modern world.” I don’t claim more for them than that, but I hope they will be stimulating enough to generate some good discussion. My background is I think very different from most people here, although I have run into a number of academics, so I don’t feel totally alone.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Our Age of Enormity

I wish I had a better word, a better superlative than enormity, but I can’t think of one. What I want to say is, we live in a time of enormity. And the church is operating on a little, pea-shooter basis in contrast to what is going on in our world. What I am going to take a look at is how that unfolds and what might we do so that the church’s vision is as enormous as the times in which we live.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Many Voices, One God: Unity or Harmony?

The place I want to begin is on an evening in 1993, a November evening in Chicago, where I had been invited to the Muslim Community Center on the 4300 block of North Elston, to meet with local Islamic leaders to talk about the emerging interreligious movement in metropolitan Chicago. This came four months after the 1993 Parliament of the World’s Religions, which was held in Chicago for eight days at the Palmer House Hilton. Eight thousand people from around the world, representing one hundred twenty-five different religious traditions, movements, denominations, and sects had gathered there. Growing out of that, the local religious communities of Chicago had said that they needed to continue to talk and work together. I had begun visiting these communities, and I was going to meet for the first time with the local Islamic leadership to talk about their participation.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Many Voices, One God: The Jewish-Christian Dialogue

I’m going to be talking about three things in my lecture this evening. First, I want to talk about Jewish views of Christianity, historically, but with primary consideration of the modern period. And then second, I want to talk about certain contemporary American Jewish problems – what I see as the problems in the American Jewish community because I want you to know about them. And I want you to help us with them. Then I’ll end with something about the state of Jewish-Christian dialog: how it should develop, what we need from you, and perhaps what we would like to tell you in return.

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Resource Types: Articles.

Let Me See Again

Jesus cured blindness repeatedly. What happened to Bartimaeus, therefore, is not unique — except perhaps in one detail. I say “perhaps” because I can find no other reference in the Gospels to blind people who, earlier in their lives, had been able to see. One man we know about from John’s record was born blind, but only in the case of Bartimaeus is it explicit that at an earlier time he had been among the “sighted”.”My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him. “Go; your faith has made you well.”

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Resource Types: Articles.
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